Spotlight & Giveaway (US): An exclusive up close & personal interview with Gabe from SEAL of Honor
Please help me welcome author Tonya Burrows and SEAL of Honor’s Gabe Bristow!
Even leaning on a cane, Gabe Bristow is an intimidating man. He towers over everyone as he walks into my favorite coffee shop and ignores the beaming teenager behind the counter. He zeroes in on me at my corner table and makes a beeline toward my position like a heat-seeking missile. I close my laptop since I’m working on the next book in his series and I don’t want him to see what I have in store for his friends, then stand to greet him. I have to look up. Waaaay up.
Man, I sure do know how to write them tall. And smoking hot.
Suddenly, I’m not so sure about this interview.
After an awkward greeting—I mean, exactly how do you greet a gorgeous SEAL that you conjured up from the wild corners of your imagination?—he waits for me to sit, then takes the chair across from me and raises his brows expectantly. I dig around in my laptop bag for my notebook.
Okay, Gabe. Uh, let’s start with talking about your team, HORNET.
[He scowls and, holy crap, it is scary as hell on that hard, square-cut face of his.] For the record, I have never liked that name.
What would you have preferred to be called?
[I resist the urge to squirm in my seat as he levels his hazel eyes on me as if daring me to ask another stupid question. I bite my lip and stare down at the notepad in front of me, scanning the questions I had lined up for this interview. Nope. Nuh-uh. Not going there. Oh, boy. I’m in trouble. I close the notebook and meet his gaze again with a weak smile. His eyes soften and he seems to realize he rattled me because he offers a gentle smile in return.]
Sorry. I can be a jerk. Audrey tells me so all the time. Ask anything you want and I’ll try to dial it back some.
Thank you. So tell me about your new team.
They are all stubborn hotheads who don’t know how to follow orders. [He chuckles and sits back in his seat.] But honestly, I wouldn’t have them any other way.
Because they are all the best in their fields. Quinn is the absolute best operative I know, hands down. Jean-Luc knows more languages than I thought it possible for one man to know. Harvard is a prodigy with anything electronic and the information he has the ability to uncover in a very short amount of time? It’s bound to make the higher-ups in Washington crap themselves. Marcus has the gift of gab and could talk a snake oil salesman into buying beach-front property in Iowa. Ian’s knowledge of explosives is incredible—and that’s saying something since I was well-trained in that field myself. And Jesse, our medic, has a Midas touch when it comes to healing. He’s a good guy. They all are in their own ways. They’re a good team. With a little training, they’ll be the finest I’ve ever worked with.
[I smile at the obvious note of pride in his tone as he talks about each of the guys.]
Sounds like you respect them.
I sure as hell do. Now. At first I had my doubts they would be able to work together, but they’ve won me over.
I’m glad to hear that, because you’re going to be commanding them for a while. So, uh, now that we’ve talked about the team, is all right if we get a bit more personal? Readers like to know the nitty-gritty details about your life.
[He nods and waves a hand as if to say, “Go ahead.”]
What’s your favorite thing to do on a lazy Saturday afternoon?
I used to go to the dojo and practice for my next degree of black belt, but… [He taps the cane propped against the table.] The foot doesn’t work as well as it used to. I still do what little I can, usually kata, but for the most part practicing any kind of martial art is now no go.
So what do you do now?
If I’m not on a mission, I like to make love to my wife. [He grins and it transforms the harshness of his face into something that verges on handsome.] But if Audrey has to work, I’ll relax in the hammock and watch her paint. If she’s really busy and wants me to disappear, I’ll go for a swim with the dolphins that hang around our dock. They keep me entertained.
Sounds amazing. Since you already live in paradise, what’s your perfect date spot?
There’s this cove about a mile down the beach from our house. It’s quiet, undisturbed. My cell phone doesn’t even get a signal there, which is a big plus since the damn thing rings incessantly when I’m home. It’s great spot to unwind and just enjoy spending a few hours of alone time with my wife.
What do you find most appealing about Audrey? Least?
I love that she’s so tough. I don’t have to worry about breaking her. She can take anything I can dish out in bed or otherwise and give it right back. I also love her courage. She’s no wilting flower.
As for the second part of that question, I’ll skip it. I want to sleep in our bed when I get home tonight.
Smart guy. So tell me about the first time you saw Audrey. Was it love at first sight?
Uh, no. Not quite. Lust at first sight? Yeah, I’ll admit to that, but I tried to ignore it and she tried to use it as a distraction from everything that was going on around us. We were in a screwed up situation that just kept getting worse and here was this gorgeous woman throwing herself at me…I was doomed from the start. I think I knew it too, but it’s not in my nature to go down without a battle. Looking back, that part was kinda fun.
It was a lot of fun to write too. Okay, I have only one more question. What was your first kiss with Audrey like?
She robbed me of coherent thought, which would have been amazing except for that fact that we were in a situation where I really needed to be using the head on my shoulders. She has a way of twisting me up into knots until I can’t think straight. I love it when we’re safe at home. Not so much when we’re being held hostage in the middle of a guerilla camp. It definitely wasn’t the most romantic first kiss, but it woke something inside of me that I didn’t think was there. It amazed and humbled me and I wouldn’t trade that moment for anything. Not even for a whole foot and my position back on the teams.
[I reach over and touch the back of his hand.] You’re a good hero, Gabe. The best I’ve written so far. Don’t tell the others, but you and Audrey will always have a special place in my heart as my first couple to get published.
[He gives my hand a squeeze, then stands and picks up his cane.] You’re working on the next book, aren’t you? No, I know you are. I saw you close your laptop when I got here. Just be good to my team, okay? They all deserve to have their own happily ever afters.
“Don’t worry,” I tell him just before he vanishes and leaves me alone at my table with nothing but my laptop and imagination again. “They’ll get them.”
SEAL of Honor (Hornet #1) by Tonya Burrows
It’s a good thing Gabe Bristow lives and breathes the Navy SEAL credo, “the only easy day was yesterday,” because today, his life is unrecognizable. When his prestigious career comes to a crashing halt, he’s left with a bum leg and few prospects for employment that don’t include a desk.
That is, until he’s offered the chance to command a private hostage rescue team and free a wealthy American businessman from Colombian paramilitary rebels. It seems like a good deal—until he meets his new team: a drunk Cajun linguist, a boy-genius CIA threat analyst, an FBI negotiator with mob ties, a cowboy medic, and an EOD expert as volatile as the bombs he defuses. Oh, and who could forget the sexy, frustratingly impulsive Audrey Van Amee? She’s determined to help rescue her brother—or drive Gabe crazy. Whichever comes first.
As the death toll rises, Gabe’s team of delinquents must figure out how to work together long enough to save the day. Or, at least, not get themselves killed. Because Gabe’s finally found something worth living for, and God help him if he can’t bring her brother back alive.
Read an excerpt
Yeah, Gabe wanted to use her all right, but it had nothing to do with her Spanish fluency. Not unless she cried out in Spanish during an orgasm.
Whoa. He put the brakes on those thoughts as his cock twitched in expectation. It’d been way too long for him if Miss Mouth, here, was this big of a turn-on.
And why the hell did he find her name-calling such an aphrodisiac, anyway?
“No,” he said between his teeth at the same time Quinn said, “That might not be a bad idea.”
Quinn shrugged. “Tactically, she’s an advantage.”
And the Machiavellian motherfucker never passed up an advantage. Gabe scrubbed his face hard with his palms. “She’s. Not. Trained.”
“Are you expecting opposition?”
Dammit. Quinn already knew the answer to that was a solid no. It was the only reason he’d risk going by himself to talk to the limo driver. Really, Armando Castillo should own a freakin’ phone. If he did, this all would be a moot point. “I’m not taking a civilian—”
“News flash, Gabe. We’re all civilians now.” Civilian.
His mouth froze on a comeback as the realization struck with the same force as a sucker punch to the solar plexus. Fuck, that hurt. Way more than it should have, and he had a moment of pure panic as his diaphragm refused to expand and let air into his lungs.
He was a civilian now. Damn.
“So it’s settled.” Audrey turned to face Quinn. “I’ll go with him and act as a translator.”
Settled? Far from it. He couldn’t take her anywhere with him unless it was to bed. Definitely not on an op, even one where he expected no resistance. She’d be a distraction of epic proportions, something that could get both of them killed in the wrong situation. Even now, he couldn’t stay on task and found his gaze wandering to her pert little rear end, so close in front of him he wouldn’t have to reach far to get a handful.
But how could he admit that in front of his men? Between Jean-Luc disobeying orders and Ian’s bad attitude, the natives were already restless, and if he admitted to a weakness—a woman, for shit’s sake—there would be anarchy.
He forced his mind back on task before the pulse in his cock became a full-on boner. Audrey wasn’t trained, true, but she spoke the language and knew the mores of Hispanic culture better than any of his men. She was better equipped to tell whether the limo driver was evading, hiding something, or downright lying to them.
He turned to her. “Could you shoot a firearm and not hit me if the situation came down to that?”
“I was born and raised in the South, honey, but I’m no southern belle. I shoot what I aim at,” she said in a tone so coated with sugar he was surprised her teeth didn’t rot. Then she flashed a smile as bright as that sinful yellow tank top she wore. “But it’s still up in the air whether I’ll aim at you or not.”
Check out Wilde Nights in Paradise, the first book in Tonya’s new Wilde Security series, sister series to HORNET!
Wilde Nights in Paradise (Wilde Security #1) by Tonya Burrows
He’ll guard her body all night long.
Former Marine Jude Wilde’s motto has always been “burn bridges and never look back,” so nobody is more surprised when Wilde Security is hired to protect assistant district attorney Libby Pruitt, the woman he loved and left. Although she makes it clear she wants nothing to do with Jude, they’re forced to fake a relationship for her safety. He can’t ignore the heat still simmering between them, and when her stalker’s threats escalate to attempted murder, he’s left with no choice but to whisk her away to a friend’s safe house in Key West, FL.
Cooped up in paradise together, Jude begins to chip away at Libby’s resolve to hate him. But even as she gives in to his proximity and her body’s demands for his, she refuses to fall for his charms again. Maybe a torrid affair in the sun is exactly what she needs to get him out of her system. But when her stalker tracks them down, can they escape the steamy Key West night without anyone getting hurt?
Read an excerpt
At the shout from the bedroom, Jude shot to instant wakefulness and grabbed his fi rearm from the end table where he’d set it before stretching out for the night. Something was wrong. Libby wouldn’t call out for him. Not unless something bad was happening.
He didn’t waste time dressing and ghosted toward the bedroom, pushing open the door as silently as possible. If someone was in there with her, he wanted some element of surprise—
He ground to a halt and stared at the bed, his mouth suddenly dry as he engaged his weapon’s safety and placed it on the nearby dresser. Libby lay splayed out on top of the sheets, her nightshirt bunched up around her shoulders, giving him a prime view of her body. Her hand stroked between her legs, her slender fingers sinking in and out of her sex, and she arched with the movement, her eyes screwed shut, her body taut. Struggling for a climax, she needed somebody to give her a little something more, somebody to love her right, to raise her up and over the mental block keeping her from coming.
That someone should be him. Always him. Only him.
Fucking hell. All the blood drained from his head at that possessive thought, making him dizzy as fuck, and his erection jumped from half-mast to ahoy matey so fast he nearly exploded right then and there. He dipped a hand inside his shorts and gripped himself to stop it from happening, squeezed until the line between pleasure and pain blurred, and a groan rumbled from his chest without his consent.
Libby’s eyes snapped open. “Oh God! What are you doing in here?”
“You called for me.”
“You’re crazy. I wouldn’t—” She started to sit up and withdraw her hand, but Christ, he couldn’t let her. He wanted to watch her pleasure herself more than he’d ever wanted anything in his life.
“Don’t.” His voice was pure gravel, but he didn’t bother clearing his throat. He pumped his hand up and down his shaft in hard strokes. “Let me see you. I need to see you.”
Her gaze drifted down his body, her eyes widening at the sight of his straining cock. After a second that seemed to last for years, she slowly settled back against the pillows and let her knees fall open. Her hand returned to her pretty pink sex, and as he watched her dip her fi ngers inside herself, his whole body started to tremble.
“I did call for you,” she admitted and dropped her head back to stare at him through heavy-lidded eyes. “I was imaging you doing this, your fingers right here where mine are, stroking me.”
He couldn’t find his voice, couldn’t tear his gaze away from the slow slide of her fingers in and out. Unconsciously, he matched his strokes to her rhythm.
“I want you,” she gasped, and he saw he wasn’t the only one trembling. As her thumb pressed against her clit, her legs shook so hard she vibrated the bed. “I want you, and I know I shouldn’t. I can’t help myself.”
“You want me?” He was panting now, about to go off like a teenager making out in the backseat of his first car. He wanted to be inside her when he did, and it took every ounce of control he could muster not to jump onto that bed and pound into her until they were both screaming. “Say the word, Libs. That’s all you gotta do.”
She caught his gaze, held it. “Yes.”
About the author
Writing has always been my one true love. I wrote my first novel-length story in 8th grade and haven’t put down my pen since. I received a B.A. in creative writing from SUNY Oswego and I’m now working on a MFA in popular fiction at Seton Hill University.
When I’m not writing, I spend my time reading, painting (badly), exploring new places, and enjoying time with my family. Give me a good horror movie over a chick flick any day. (And, let’s be honest, I’ll take a bad horror movie too!) I’m a geek at heart and pledge my avid TV fandom to Supernatural and Doctor Who. I’m also a big fan of The Voice. What can I say? Guilty pleasure.
I share my life with two dogs and a ginormous cat. We live in a small town in New York, but I suffer from a bad case of wanderlust and usually end up moving someplace new every few years. Luckily, my animals are all excellent travel buddies.
Tonya is giving away a signed copy of SEAL of Honor to one lucky commenter on today’s post! Leave a comment telling us what you think of Gabe’s HORNET strike team and what you’d like them to save YOU from, then fill out the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck! Good luck!
Note: This giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only.